El Nido: Nature’s gem

Who would never know El Nido? It’s all over the internet, magazines, televisions, featured on movies, blogs, etc. It has always been described as a paradise. But to people like me, it isn’t just a destination but also a dream. Most people see El nido the way I see it, An expensive goal and something really hard to achieve.

All of my doubts has finally come to an end when I finally got to visit this beautiful gift of mother nature.

It wasn’t planned for so long, we only had like one month from the time we decided to book a ticket to Puerto princesa and the actual trip. Basically, El Nido’s island hopping tours are grouped into tour A, B, C & D. This I actually find very nice and organized because you have the option of choosing whats best for your budget and what areas or islands would you really want to visit. Its like choosing the perfect mobile plan. Lol.

Anyway, here are the different tours and its corresponding inclusions:

Tour A:

  1. Shimizu Island
  2. Seven commandos beach
  3. Secret Lagoon
  4. Big Lagoon
  5. Small lagoon

Tour B:

  1. Cudugnon Cave
  2. Pinagbuyutan island
  3. Snake island
  4. Cathedral cave
  5. Entalula island

Tour C:

  1. Helicopter island
  2. Hidden beach
  3. Talisay beach
  4. Matinloc shrine
  5. Secret beach

Tour D:

  1. Paradise island
  2. Ipil beach
  3. Bukal beach
  4. Pasandigan beach
  5. Cadlao Lagoon
  • All tours includes: picnic lunch by the beach & snorkeling gears, life vest and tour guide
  • For the prices, No exact price is stated because prices vary depending on where you book your tour with or it depends on your haggling skills. For my experience, I booked my tour with klook although its not really hard to do the booking upon arrival in El Nido because almost everyone there offers the tour from the tricycle drivers to your own hotel. Although I booked ours way cheaper than the usual prices we saw in El nido.
  • NOTE that this is a joined tour which means you will be together with other people but its actually fun because you get to meet people from different parts of the globe who come together to witness the beauty of El nido. Private tours may however be arranged especially if you’re with a large group.

Land tour itinerary:

  1. Nacpan beach – a long beach located north of El nido town.
  2. Twin beaches – basically just an extension of the nacpan beach and another beach facing the opposite side of the one on the side of nacpan beach. This part is actually no that worth the visit because you will just find a bunch of boats and canoes parked there and some rubbish scattered.
  3. Nagkalitkalit falls
  4. Las cabañas beach – best for sunset watching. There are bars along this beach also where you can chill.
  5. Canopy walk
  6. Random viewing deck our tricycle driver showed us, its located before reaching Las Cabañas. This is actually a nice place where you can see many of the islands of El nido also great for sunset watching.

How to get around:

El nido is a really small town, and the major means of transportation is the tricycle which usually cost 50 pesos per way. But if walking is your thing like me, then better because you can litterally just walk around the town if your looking for pasalubongs, souvenirs or food.

Some destinations may require you a tricycle ride though, like Nacpan beach and Lac Cabañas beach which are quite far from the town. Its actually better to do the land tour so that you get to visit all destinations in el nido that isn’t on the island hopping tours.

How to get there:

There are many means of transportation to get to El nido, Depending on your budget.

  • If you’re coming from Puerto princesa, just proceed to San jose terminal to take the bus. There’s a trip almost every hour so if you don’t have a fixed time then no problem. Vans are also available but more expensive (around Php600 per way). Trip is about 5-6 hrs
  • If you wanted to skip the long trip from Puerto princesa and you don’t have any business in the city then you can actually fly directly to El Nido. AirSWIFT flies to El nido from Cebu, Manila, Clark, Caticlan. Although prices may get really high at times.
  • If you’re coming from Coron, there are actually boats the sail between El nido and Coron.

Where I stayed:

We stayed at Dayunan Tourist inn we booked it through agoda. It was a nice and comfy place, very kind staff and location is just near the shore where island hopping tour groups are picked up. And oh they also have a great view of the lime stone formations of el nido in their roof deck.

Thanks for reading, Enjoy the ride! 😘

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